Korn frontman Jonathan Davis was admitted to a London hospital over the weekend for treatment of a blood disorder called immune thrombocytopenic purpura, forcing the band to pull out of at least one European festival gig and deliver an abbreviated set with guest singers at Saturday’s U.K. Download Festival. According to a band spokesperson, Davis may be sidelined for the next three weeks, as he continues to recover.
Korn, who did not perform at Ireland’s Download Festival on Sunday, are also expected to cancel a performance at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on Tuesday; the remainder of the band’s European tour has been canceled.
A post from Davis on Korn’s official Web site confirmed the illness — a disorder in which a low blood-platelet count prohibits the blood from clotting as it should.
“I started getting these weird bruises all over my body about two weeks ago,” Davis wrote. “I was getting very weak after the shows so I saw a doctor in London Friday. He took some blood tests and when the results came in, they rushed me to the hospital. It turned out that I have ITP … a blood infection where, because of an allergic reaction I had to some medication, my blood platelets were really low. If I continued to headbang onstage, I could have had a brain hemorrhage and dropped dead on the spot.”
According to Davis, while most people have between 140 and 400 platelets in their blood cells, “I had five — no joke.” He has been ordered by his doctors to remain under the hospital’s supervision until “they [can] get my blood in some kind of healthy shape. The doctors are telling me that each day I’ve been here in the hospital, my platelet count has been going up and I should be healthy to play in a few weeks. The doctors have cleared me to walk around a bit but I am unable to perform a show or travel right now. We will do our very best to come back soon to play any dates we are unable to play on this tour.”
During the U.K.’s Download Festival, which took place at Donington Park, Korn delivered an abbreviated 30-minute set with guest singers filling in for Davis.
When guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer, bassist Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu and drummer David Silveria took the stage, a bandmember told the crowd, “We’ve had some issues” but would “play on with some friends of ours,” the Download Festival site reports.
Korn recruited a number of artists to stand in for Davis. Jesse Hasek of 10 Years grabbed the microphone for “It’s On!” while Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows belted out “Falling Away From Me.” Former Coal Chamber and current DevilDriver frontman Dez Fafara handled vocals for “Somebody, Someone” and “Coming Undone,” and Skindred’s Benji Webbe tackled “A.D.I.D.A.S.” Slipknot/ Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor performed “Clown” and “Freak on a Leash,” and Trivium’s Matt Heafy joined the band for “Blind.”
According to a press release issued Monday (June 12), Korn are still expected to headline this year’s 30-city Family Values Tour, which kicks off July 27 in Virginia Beach, Virginia (see “Korn Resurrect Family Values Tour With Deftones, Stone Sour” ). The Deftones, Stone Sour, Flyleaf and Dir En Grey are also on the mainstage bill, with the second-stage bill to be announced in the coming weeks.
“We were truly looking forward to playing the rest of the overseas dates,” the members of Korn said in a joint statement. “So we have tremendous regrets about not being able to connect with our fans, whom we know are the best in the world. We want to thank them for their understanding and loyal support — and, at the same time, let them know that we will see them when we return to Europe.”
[This story was originally published 06.12.06 at 10:23 a.m. ET]